Review: Lana Del Rey - Lust for Life

  Polydor

Polydor

There are now a few things we come to expect from a Lana Del Rey album - romanticism, melancholy and her now infamous croon. Now on her fourth full-length album in her five year major label career, very little had changed. Yet, new album, Lust for Life notable stands out from among the rest.

After having briefly experimented with a 70s rock inspired production in 2014's Ultraviolence, Lana returned to her original sound and inspirations with previous album, Honeymoon, and Lust for Life is a continuation of this return - but not all remains the same. Staying true to the album title, the album is Lana’s story of finding hope and enjoyment in a world that is out of her control. Don’t be fooled though, you won’t be finding the song of the summer bop on this album.

The first singles taken from this era (Love, and title track Lust for Life featuring The Weeknd) set up the tone for the album almost perfectly. Sonically, they’re classic Lana but come with a different side of romanticism that we haven’t truly heard from Lana previously - a positive and healthy relationship. It’s a huge move for Lana from previous lyrics regarding relationships that included emotional and physical abuse. This shift in her outlook remains consistent throughout as she has noticeably more fun with her image and videos this era, and certainly in her lyricism.

However, like all great artists, her art imitates life as nudges to the current American political climate are laced throughout the record but in her own Lana way. Songs like When the World Was At War We Kept Dancing and God Bless America - And All the Beautiful Women In It touch upon issues surrounding the current political standpoint however create a safe point for those affected. The latter honours her love for her country as she remembers after having dropped her Americana imagery following Trump's presidency while almost acting as a prayer to protect women who are having their rights taken from them.

The album is also the first we hear the singer pair up with other artists on her own projects. Features include the aforementioned The Weeknd, Sean Ono Lennon on a heavily Beatles referencing song, Playboi Carti and A$AP Rocky (who she previously worked with on her National Anthem video), and most iconically, Stevie Nicks of Fleetwood Mac. On Beautiful People Beautiful Problems, the two vocals compliment each other so well in one of the album’s most gorgeously produced tracks.

For longtime fans, Lust for Life will be an absolute treat and a staple in her already extensive back catalogue. Lana has a true gift of creating cohesive bodies which flow with an ongoing story and Lust for Life is no different from that. It fits into a formula that we come to expect from Lana Del Rey stamped tracks and album but it’s also uniquely different from her previous work and holds some of her strongest writing. It won’t win her any new fans but it’s as clear as ever that she’s only ever been in it for the music.

Joao Vasconcelos